LAST weekend saw the first of the two semi-finals played here in Donegal with Glenties taking their place in what is their fifth consecutive final appearance.
Going into the game Glenties were hot favourites based on how the year had gone to date, while Gaoth Dobhair are somewhat in a restructuring phase at the minute.
Having watched the Glenties and Glenswilly game the previous weekend, I felt our lads had a serious chance of overturning Glenties and in the first 15 to 20 minutes it looked like an upset was on the cards. Gaoth Dobhair dominated the possession and turned over Glenties on a number of occasions, but they just failed to make that count on the scoreboard.
Once Glenties got their foothold and found their rhythm, they rattled off a number of points in quick succession making them comfortable for pretty much the rest of the game.
When our lads look back on the season as a whole, it has been a massive learning curve for the young lads who have come into the senior panel this year.
We probably are fourth in the ranking here in Donegal at the moment and when you consider the massive turnaround in players over the last number of years then realistically we have to be optimistic about that.
The aim now for the club and the team must be to slowly claw their positioning back to the top, but there is no doubt that that will take a few years to happen.
We have exciting young energetic players coming through but it will take a while for those players to find their feet at this level and hopefully bringing in one or two each year more will help.
I hope to see Trevor Alcorn remaining as manager because, given the circumstances, he held the ship together this year and I hope that next year he will get more help and support to assist him.
Glenties will be delighted they are once again in the county final, but as I stated last week I believe that this will be the last roll of the dice for a team who have served their club so well over the last number of years.
Now that they are in the final, they will be hellbent on making it count because when a team starts to slip it may take some time before you can get back to the top again.
The second semi-final will take place this weekend after being postponed last weekend due to the tragic death of Margaret Sullivan (nee Devenny), sister of former Donegal great Brendan.
Kilcar and St Eunan’s will lock horns this Saturday night meaning that whoever wins will have no break as the final is on the following weekend. However, the main thing for both of those teams is to make sure that they are in that final.
I’d like to finish off this week by offering my sincere condolences to the Devenney family on the loss of their beloved father Patrick last weekend followed by the tragic death of their loving sister Margaret. For anyone involved in Donegal football over the last 20 or so years, you simply could not have played for Donegal or supported Donegal without crossing paths with the Devenney family.
When I first came into the panel way back in 1999 I immediately struck up a friendship with Brendan that lasts to this day.
Anywhere Brendan played his family followed him and you would always see his parents and sisters after the games. We all got to know them all very well as a result.
Like Brendan their personality was infectious, and that’s coupled with the fact that they had hearts of gold and would do absolutely anything for anyone. My thoughts and prayers are with them all at this sad time.